June 24, 2012 § 1 Comment
Not exactly a piano, definitely not a kid, but possibly a bike or a bike-like object here in River City. Dezy Walls has brought his singing and piano playing to the streets of Portland. You can read all about it here.
Watch a video, listen to his songs, find out where you can next see and hear him here.
May 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
What are a performer’s worst fears? How about being ready to play one Mozart concerto and hearing the orchestra start a different one? This video shows the fine pianist from Portugal in just this situation. She shows amazing aplomb, calmly switching from one concerto to another, without the score or visible anxiety.
Something similar once happened to me. I was playing in the orchestra as a last minute addition. The piece was unfamiliar to me (a trombone concerto) and in those days before YouTube I had never heard it. The orchestra started playing and I was counting my rests, getting ready to come in, but-what the heck were they playing? It was nothing like what was in my part. They were in a completely different key, a different tempo and a different meter. Was this piece really that far-out? Did I miss something? Maybe I was not as good a musician as I thought. And why was the conductor flashing the peace sign at me so insistently?
Oh! Not peace-TWO! Second! Second movement! It seems that everyone but me knew that they were skipping the first movement and starting with the second. Surprise!
Luckily I was just playing the piano as part of the orchestra and the spotlight was on the soloist. But I can break out in a sweat any time I want just by remembering those first few moments of confusion. How Ms. Pires pulled off this calm switcheroo is beyond me.
To return your pulse to its normal serenity, here is Ms. Pires playing the lovely second movement to the fifth Bach keyboard concerto, BWV 1056.
April 30, 2012 § 2 Comments
Max Ball, younger than me by about 50 years, plays his piano reduction of the Rite of Spring, by Stravinsky. According to Norman Lebrecht, who is a real journalist and not just passing things along like I do, meaning he actually did some research on this kid, Max is self-taught as a composer and is currently studying violin with Greg Ewer.
The choice of the Rite of Spring is fascinating. What else does Mr. Ball have up his compositional sleeves?
April 23, 2012 Comments Off on Where, in the US, do they (we) buy the most classical records?
Right here in River City, Stump Town, The Rose City, PDX, Puddle Town, Rip City.
Here is the full article, by Norman Lebrecht at Slipped Disc. I would summarize it in some artful way but I have some practicing to do. You’ll have to read it yourself, if you’re done practicing for today.
April 16, 2012 § 1 Comment